The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 228
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228 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
tion and strength of a body of Federal troops stationed in a clump
of trees a half mile in front of the Confederate left wing, which
he accomplished to Hardee's entire satisfaction.
Captain Swearingen's narrative covers only a few days subse-
quent to the battle of Murfreesboro, and for a detailed account of
the rest of his war experiences I have no materials available. Suf-
fice it to say that he was with Joseph E. Johnston in the retreat
through Georgia, and later in North Carolina, and that he re-
mained in service till the war was over.
On one occasion during the course of the operations in which
Captain Swearingen's company was engaged in East Tennessee,
as it approached Hume's Ferry on the Tennessee River above the
town of Loudon, information was received to the effect that a
band of bushwhackers was in waiting to contest the passage. The
company had to cross by a ford which was about one hundred and
fifty yards wide, where the current was swift, and the extreme
depth of the water was from four to five feet. The bushwhackers
were known to be good shots, and the bank towards which the
crossing must be made, and where they were supposed to be con-
cealed, was steep and heavily timbered and an excellent place for
a force to lie in ambuscade. The danger of the crossing was evi-
dent; and, when the company reached the ford, Captain Swear-
ingen called for volunteers to lead the way and draw the fire of the
enemy, but none responded. Thereupon he gave some directions
to his first lieutenant,' bade his men goodbye, turned his
horse, and rode into the stream alone. In a moment or two, hear-
ing a great noise behind him, he looked back and found the whole
company was following. It proved that the alarm was false, and
that there was no enemy in wait; but this happy issue of the affair
had been foreseen neither by Captain Swearingen nor by his men,
and it was none the less a supreme test of his soldierly manhood,
as well as of their own.
September 12, 1864, Captain Swearingen was married to Miss
Jessee. Ten days later he was captured at the home of her father
in Sneedville by a party of bushwhackers. He was kept a prisoner
'This was S. M. Inman, afterwards a member of the well-known firm of
S. M. Inman & Co., of Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Inman is yet living, and this
account is based mainly on letters written by himself.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905, periodical, 1905; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101033/m1/235/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.